SILENT BUT DEADLY : Chernobyl-Fukushima-San Onofre
BC Space Gallery : 235 Forest Ave : Laguna Beach : 949.497.1880
Dates : Feb 25 - April 26, 2014
Artist’s Reception : Thursday Feb 27 : 7 pm
FEATURING : James Lerager : Jun Hori : Kei Kobayashi
ADDITIONAL WORK BY : Ed Heckerman : Ron Azevedo
Film Screening : March 11 : Metamorphosis by Jun Hori : 7 pm
(3rd Anniversary of the 2011 Earthquake & Tsunami)
When San Onofre’s nuclear plant closed last
summer, many breathed a sigh of relief. Yet San Onofre
still requires a multi-decade ‘decommissioning,’ with radioactive fuel and
components carted away to uncertain disposal, at further expense measured in
hundreds of millions of dollars. Who profits and who pays is in dispute.
When the Chernobyl reactor exploded on April 26, 1986, the Soviet
government initially kept it secret. Some 600,000 workers and soldiers were
ordered to build the now crumbling Sarcophagus. Estimates of excess Chernobyl
cancers range into the 100s of thousands, and the region will remain
contaminated for 100s of years.
When the Fukushima nuclear power plant was overwhelmed by the earthquake
and tsunami of March 11, 2011, three reactors melted down and Japan’s Prime
Minister considered ordering the evacuation of Tokyo, which could have
displaced tens of millions of people.
Some 400 commercial nuclear power reactors are operational around the
world, 100 of them in the United States. The true costs of the nuclear era are
largely unknown and generally suppressed. The unanswered question is whether or
not we will continue to allow our leaders to drag us along a path toward a
permanent nuclear dependency, with all its uncertainty and risks.
James Lerager has been photographing and documenting nuclear sites
since the 1980s. His work has been widely exhibited and published. He is the
photographer / author of the book “In the Shadow of the Cloud: Photographs
& Histories of America’s Atomic Veterans” and several monographs. James Lerager’s forthcoming book - a global perspective on the
human and environmental consequences of the nuclear age - is currently in
Jun Hori is a noted Japanese television journalist and commentator. His
documentary video “Metamorphosis” explores the Japanese citizen reaction to the
Fukushima reactor meltdowns, and public opposition to government proposals to
reopen Japan’s remaining 50 reactors. “Metamorphosis” also explores several
nuclear accident sites in the United States, including Three Mile Island. When
NHK, Japan’s public television network, refused to broadcast “Metamorphosis,”
Jun Hori ended his long-term relationship with NHK.
Kei Kobayashi has undertaken an extensive photographic series of
de-populated landscapes of the Fukushima region since the tsunami and nuclear
meltdowns. His titles provide the
location where the photographs were taken and include the ambient radiation
reading at the time of exposure. Kei’s work has been exhibited widely in Japan.
Ron Azevedo toured the Chernobyl region in
2012. His “Shadow of Chernobyl” series of photographs present a ghostly
portrayal of abandoned areas that are slowly rotting away without human
presence. For him, the trip was like walking through the set of a horror movie,
exposing evidence of how “the actions of a few have the potential to create
widespread ruin for so many.”
Photographer and poet, Ed Heckerman’s series “Glocal: A prayer for Japan” reveals layered complexities
through silver gelatin photograms created with different kinds of rice from
Japan. The rice was gifted to the artist from numerous sources and is
accompanied with text by Iwauko Murakami who
originally asked Ed to make the “prayer” from this staple of the Japanese diet.
additional information please contact the gallery or Mark Chamberlain at
BC Space Gallery : 235 Forest Ave :
Laguna Beach : 949.497.1880